Liberal Democrat Manifesto: Housing

26 May 2017

“House prices are high across the country – even where houses are available to buy, they are often unaffordable for first-time buyers. In many areas, the rental market has also become unaffordable.”

  • The average house price in the UK was £216,000 in March 2017. The average varies across the country. The North East had the lowest average of the English regions (£122,000) and London had the highest (£472,000).
  • There are different ways of measuring housing affordability. House prices have increased faster than earnings. In England and Wales, the median house price is now almost eight times higher than the median wage (the median is the point in the middle, where half are higher and half are lower).
  • The Office for National Statistics has calculated that in the ‘least affordable’ council in England (Westminster), the median rent was 73% of the median wage in 2015. In Copeland, Cumbria, the figure was 19%.
  • Comparing prices to wages means looking at the pay an average employee gets. It’s not a full reflection of how much money a household has to spend on housing because it doesn’t factor in things like taxes, benefits and pensions. Some households have more than one person contributing to their income, too.

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